Monthly Archives: March 2013

knitting advocate. doctor. teacher. friend.

I think I want to work in a yarn store.

The most local one just closed, so this is not a very real possibility, and I have ZERO intention of starting my own business (because I am perfectly content to let someone else make all the hard decisions and manage the business side of things), but seriously feel like knitting work needs to happen. There are some other ones I could probably drive to (about 30 minutes away still), but I seriously doubt, by the size of them, that they are hiring people. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Anyone hiring?

In the meantime, I am looking for ways and reasons to knit with other people. I think my sister borrowed a phrase that said something like, “I made my friends knitters,” instead of the possibly less-manipulative sounding “I made friends WITH knitters.” My knitting posse is slowly growing, and for that I’m thankful. There’s just something about schmoozing about the same way-too-expensive-to-justify yarn that you go ahead and splurge on anyway. Or the intricate patterns that are miserable to follow but worth the pain.

Until then, I’ll give away some of the old yarn, keep a watchful eye on which way you’re wrapping the yarn for that purl stitch, and encourage you to take a similar path in knitting maturation. First comes the garter stitch, then comes the purl, then comes the sewn hats, blankets, scarves and finally the things in the round that make knitting “hard” things worthwhile.

Speaking of things in the round, I think I have a sock calling me. And some shortbread to whip up! ūüôā

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When iniquities prevail against me…

Yesterday I was angry.

It wasn’t any one thing, or any one person. It was a lot of little things that led me to bottle up and stuff a lot of anger. By the time I got home for the night, it was all I could do to wash my dishes and take some deep breaths.

My anger wasn’t righteous by any count…and a lot of it was held onto simply because it was “packing snow” for a pretty big snowball. I felt really burdened by it, and was amazed this morning to read Psalm 65, still feeling the remnants of an angry day:

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, 

and to you shall vows be performed.

O you who hear prayer, 

to you shall all flesh come.

when iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

And the crazy thing is that even before reading, the Holy Spirit wrote some of these words on my heart Рhe brought Jeremiah 29:12-14 to my mind 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord

He also brought to mind being satisfied in him, as I asked, “What do I do when I’m so angry? I’m supposed to give it up to you, but what does that even look like? It’s not as easy as ignoring it or stuffing it, this I know.” So then, encountering these very themes and words in a psalm I would have read anyway was loudly heard and at least primitively understood!

This being Holy Week, I have been encouraged in a lot of different contexts to consider the cross, the cost to Jesus it was to die for my sin, the enormous and free gift of atonement, the hope of life in Christ. And I’ve bobbed my head along and said, Yeah. I can do that. And even sincerely I considered it, but then today it leaped off the page in a Psalm that was “coincidentally” the next one in my reading sequence.

 

5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas; (Psalm 65:5, ESV)

and

 

7 who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples, (Psalm 65:7, ESV)

¬†God not only calms the roaring of the seas’ waves, he calms the tumult of the peoples.
 
This morning I have had a shiver of awe at His Word’s expressive, personal message for me. God is indeed an abundant provider (and the Psalm goes on to talk about the measure of his provision for the earth and all in it).
 
My sin prevails against me and it’s easy to give in to it, but¬†because God is my hope through Christ,¬†because he has brought me near to him, I can offer it up to him and be washed and remade to serve him.¬†
 
Thanks to God that His Word is ONE narrative, and that my life is woven into it.
Happy (?) Maundy Thursday, too!

 

 

sabbath

This is the end of a beautiful break. I went to the Cities to be with K and loved it. This is not remarkable, perhaps, as all my visits up there are lovely, but it was a timely reprieve from the busy semester. I did some marathon sitting (with knitting, at least, to make it productive) and had some good conversations. I came back to Iowa today to face a whirlwind of 10 more weeks on the school year calendar and the precipice of change (summer). At this moment, I have every reason to stay where I am for next year, but this time of year breathes possible change…I could move altogether, or start something new. Or a smaller combination of the same things. Not really sure.

In the forefront are a lot of the high-stress items in my school year. Grades for 3rd quarter, an honor choir, a program, a concert (that I volunteered to accompany? I am behind in practicing, oops). Finding a summer job is probably going to need to happen ,though I’m hopeful something flexible will open up. I don’t really intend to canvass the area looking for PT employment :). We’ll see, though.

I’m borrowing time in preparing for the evening’s plans, but just wanted to mark the thanksgiving for this week of sabbath and the time spent with K and with God. It was sweet refreshment to my soul, however un-busy it was :).

Like a Lace Shawl

Something about knitting a lace shawl over spring break¬†Imageclicked with me today. I woke up this morning with a similar plan for a “schedule” (though it’s break I have a little to-do list…most of which is not being done. Luckily they are small goals like reading for an hour and sending an email here and there). I was staring at my knitting and it led me to go to Ravelry for a while where I looked at other projects and sighed contented that I love knitting and the camaraderie that it spurs. All the while, not knitting. Once I ran out of other things to do (heat up my tepid coffee, blow dry my hair, etc.), I picked it up and was like, WOW, I love this! Why wasn’t I doing this all morning?

I think the same applies to fellowship with God. Or communion with Him. However you call it, I can talk about it, be excited about it with other people, read about it and describe it to other people, but once I’m in the midst of it I realize that I’ve been all wrong…the actual pursuit of God in that fellowship/communion/etc. is the enjoyable part…not just thinking about its enjoyablility (that new word’s for free!). I’ve missed the forest for the trees.

I’m not saying that talking about knitting or God or any other one of the passions of my life isn’t a big part of the enjoyment…it is, for sure, but it’s not supposed to take the place¬†of the pursuit. I think we can do that in our Christian circles pretty easily. “Come to my church or ____ and it’ll be awesome because…” all the while forgetting that Christ and the relationship he offers to such undeserving people is the major attraction. If He isn’t the main attraction, the desire of our hearts, or the very motivation for sharing about these sidebars, we are missing it.

I have plenty more time this week for knitting and spending time with God and praying and sleeping in (which is a big gift, I tell you what!), but as I transition into the end of the school year and the beginning of a long summer (perhaps the longest yet, as my employment prospects are 2 guitar lesson students, of all things), I’ve got to keep my mind and hands aligned on the same work. Not raving about knitting or raving about the effects of quiet time on a transformed life through Jesus Christ, but actually engaging in it.¬†

For now I must bundle up and find my way to UofM’s campus for a delightful lunch-time rendezvous with my sister. Happy spring to you!

Family time

The other week I was at school talking with a friend when scrapbooking came up. “Oh, I haven’t done any scrapbooking since 2010,” she told me. I replied, “Ha, yeah, I don’t think I’ve done any since my junior year of high school…maybe a little before graduation.” Instead of leaving it there as a shared procrastination bond, she one-upped me, “But you don’t have a family.”

I know what she meant. I am not raising babies who will some day long to know their history and have their memories captured, but it got me to thinking about who my family is. My immediate and extended family are obvious. ¬†My interaction with them (sometimes more than others because of life and proximity) is vital for support and love. The Biblical definition of family being brothers and sisters in Christ also suits me. My community in church particularly resonates. I’ve got people pouring into my life, and I into theirs, and it’s great!

Last night was our school carnival. I was signed up to man the “football toss” booth, which I was not all that excited for (we “carnies” like to have some skill in our areas of work, right?), but the former-PE-teacher guidance counselor offered to switch me, as he’d been put in the Limbo room. That was a great idea and I worked with a bunch of kids and families (my oldest limbo-er was probably a retiree) while the limbo song played on repeat.

I beheld some really sweet family interaction. When the kids get to school on a regular day, we see their interactions with peers and their personalities tend to be pretty much within a limited range of predictable behavior and attitude. In their families on a fun night, though, it’s markedly different. I think we need to have more of these community/family nights with students for the sake of perspective. I realized that Miss Attitude and Mr. Can’t Sit Still (names changed for the protection of the children…oh wait, these are just general examples!) have very tender hearts toward their siblings (helping them through the limbo, for example), generous spirits (sharing prizes, snacks, etc.), and that their energy can be used for good – relational exuberance with parents and friends. Seeing the older kids go through the station with their little siblings was awesome too. I saw a couple former students who were so good with the little kids. And the students who were so excited to see me and introduce me to their families, which restores my confidence that no matter how I feel about my productivity at work, lives are intersecting with mine enough to know that I care for them.

I am surrounded by family, really. And that’s a good feeling. I might not scrapbook it, but not because it isn’t around. Because I really just hate scrapbooking.